Listen to your book. Literally.

I’ve written about this before, but after going through the exercise several times, I had to say it again. There is nothing like listening to someone else read your writing to you. I find it does the following:

  • Lets you know if your story flows from one chapter to the next.
    ..
  • Validates the rhythm of your dialogue.
    ..
  • Catches typos you’ve missed a thousand times because your eyes can’t notice them anymore.
    ..
  • Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you’re wrapped in a furry blankie.

listentobookSometimes I read my work out loud just after I’ve composed some dialogue or a paragraph I’m unsure of, but when I really want to sanity-check my work, I let Celia read to me. Celia is the nickname I give to the English-accented voice on my Google phone. I convert my MS Word document to an epub format, then use the Read Aloud feature on Google Play Books. Update: I also use ChromeVox on my Chromebook, on the Accessibility menu. 

Listening to a voice that isn’t mine—or doesn’t belong anyone else I know—really forces me to pay attention. I also read along on my Chromebook (yes, I’m googly for Google) and that helps me catch what doesn’t work. I’ll pause, edit a bit, and then let Celia continue on.

Right now, I’m about three chapters away from finishing the rough draft of my 30-chapter novel. I’m listening to the 27 chapters I’ve written so far, before finishing it up. After that, I’ll search for more bad words (See: Editing really, really bad words. Really. ), listen to the old book again, and, squee, hand it off to the beta readers!

I really encourage you to hear what your writing sounds like. This is where technology really comes in handy, if you don’t have a patient friend to do it for you. I am finding this exercise invaluable.

Enjoy the journey and happy listening!

/cg

3 thoughts on “Listen to your book. Literally.

  1. This is a great tip. I often read my work aloud but sometimes you see what you want to when you’re reading it yourself.

    Like

    • I think it is listening to it in another person’s voice that really jolts me to hear what works and what doesn’t. But I also read it aloud, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Up next: Beta-reader draft! | Cait Gordon, Almost Author

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